Registration opens for 70th annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course

Kay Ledbetter, Texas AgriLife Today

June 10, 2024

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The 70th annual Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course on Aug. 5-7 in Bryan-College Station is open for registration. The event is hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Animal Science.

The event is the largest beef cattle educational event in the world, with an expected crowd of 2,000 producers attending, said Jason Cleere, Ph.D., conference coordinator and AgriLife Extension statewide beef cattle specialist in the Department of Animal Science, Bryan-College Station.

From the Cattleman’s College to the Texas Aggie Prime Rib Dinner, the nationally and internationally recognized three-day event offers producers more than 50 hours of training across 20 courses covering basic ranching practices, new technologies and hot topics in beef cattle production.

It also offers attendees access to over 150 agriculture-related businesses and trade show exhibitors and continuing education units for both pesticide license holders and veterinarians.

Cleere said the event includes the standard sessions it is famous for, as well as the technology session added last year. This year, the youth track for high school students will return for the first time since 2019.

Both in-person and virtual attendance are offered. The cost is $300 for in-person attendance, $160 for virtual registration and $150 for youth. A $40 fee will be charged for late registration after July 27. Go online for registration, or contact 979/314-8507 or beefcattleshortcourse@gmail.com for more information.

Hot topics on the agenda

Cleere said presentations will cover subjects ranchers are eager to learn more about — cattle market and the weather outlook.

“The market is great right now, but as we rebuild our herds, the biggest question is: ‘Will the prices fall off as fast as they did after 2014?’” he said. “The rebuilding happened really fast during that time, and the prices came back down quickly. So, the question is: ‘How long will this market be as good as it is?’”

Colorado meteorologist Brian Bledsoe is returning to give a long-range weather outlook.

“From a beef cattle ranching perspective, weather is what we depend on,” Cleere said. “We can’t change the weather, but we can change our management strategies to be better prepared for a drier fall or spring. What we’ve learned over the last 15-20 years is the weather patterns are different and not as predictable long term, so we want to provide producers with key information to look into the next year.”

Forage and grazing management are typically high-interest sessions at the event, Cleere said, as well as the two basic ranch management sessions.

“We have a lot of people who come to the beef cattle short course who are just getting into the business or are thinking about getting into the business,” he said. “Those sessions help set the stage for what they need to learn over the next two days.”

Related events

A Ranch Horse Program, which is included with the full Beef Cattle Short Course registration, will be offered on Aug. 4 at the Hildebrand Equine Complex. Those interested in only the ranch horse program can register for $60.  

Also, up to 32 hours of continuing education credits will be offered during the Bovine Reproduction Veterinary Continuing Education Program on Aug. 3, the Veterinarian Continuing Education Program on Aug. 4 and the Beef Cattle Short Course Veterinary Continuing Education sessions Aug. 5-7.

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